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Staying Connected in “The Cloud”

cloud computingHi Donna:

Wondering if you have any resources or articles about managing content “in the cloud.”

Between my PC, my iPad, and my smartphone (all different operating systems) and vendors each with their own “clouds”, I’ve got notes, ideas, and documents all over the place.

Have you a recommendation for one best application/vendor/system for accessing and synching information between multiple platforms?

Anne Kaplan, AmpleAliveness.com

A:  Hey Anne—

It is difficult, isn’t it, living in a world where our technology doesn’t synchronize with each other?  It’s a hair-pulling experience, indeed..:)

What I try to do is use applications that can be used on your PC, Mac, Apple device, and Android device. I have a PC, Windows laptop, iPad, iPhone and Android tablet, so I feel your pain…;)

Here are the programs I use that I can use on any of these devices:

1.  Gmail:   I was using an email client, Thunderbird, for all of my email, but I was having difficulty keeping just my desktop and my laptop in sync, never mind the other devices I’ve added over the years. It’s pretty easy to do, and Adam Hommey has a quick tutorial here on how to use Gmail for all of your email, and here’s a post documenting a step-by-step tutorial, as well. You can use Gmail for free for up to 5 email addresses.

2.  Evernote:   I keep much of what I find online (my personal marketing swipe files) in this application, which I can access from any device. With Evernote, all of your notes, web clips, files and images are made available on every device and computer you use. Evernote is free to use, but if you want more security and/or to collaborate with others, you’ll need to upgrade to Evernote Premium for $45/year as of this writing.  This blog post gives you a great resource to learn more about Evernote

3.  Dropbox:  If I need to share documents, videos, audios, etc. between devices, Dropbox is a great place to store those documents.  You can even set up private folders to share docs with colleagues.  Dropbox is free to use for up to 2 GB of storage (up to 16 GB when you refer others), or you can purchase a Pro plan for $9.99/month for up to 100GB of storage, as of this writing.

4.  Office 365:  Microsoft has discontinued selling software in CD format and is now offering access to the latest versions of its programs online through Office 365. Switch between devices and pick up right where you left off when you create, edit and share your Excel, Word, PowerPoint and OneNote. With your extra 20 GB SkyDrive storage, your notes, photos, and files are always accessible.  This does require a Skydrive account, which is free, but it’s not something I regularly use.  Office 365 Home Premium is available for $99/year or $9.99/month as of this writing.

Or, you could use Google Drive (Google Docs)  if you don’t want to invest in an Office product, as both of these are free of charge.

5.  Hootsuite:  Rather than downloading all the apps for the various social networking sites, I just use Hootsuite to manage Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Google Plus.   It is available for free for up to 5 social networking profiles, or you can go Pro for $8.99/month as of this writing for more features.

6.  Google Calendar:  I use this as my go-to calendar, so I can see what I need to do anywhere, anytime, and anyplace.

7.  Dashlane:  For password management across all devices, nothing beats Dashlane. I have waay too many logins to ever begin to remember them all.  Dashlane synchronizes my passwords across all devices, making login to a website a breeze, regardless of the device I use.  There is a free version you can use, but to synchronize your passwords across all devices, you’ll need the Premium version for $29.99/year as of this writing.

Hope these help you.  If anyone has other suggestions, please list those below in comments.

About the Author Donna Gunter

Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.

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